BWW Review: THE KING AND I, King's Theatre, Glasgow
Following a sell-out season at the London Palladium, the 2015 Lincoln Center Theatre production has embarked on a UK tour. One of Rodgers and Hammerstein's most loved musicals, The King and I tells the story of an English widow who is employed as a school teacher for the Royal children and wives of the King of Siam.
Anna and her young son Louis arrive in Siam with the promise that she will have her own house attached to the palace. The King of Siam does not deliver on his promise and insists that she must live in the palace. As their relationship develops, the King begins to rely on Anna for guidance which is highly unusual when women are seen as inferior at this time.
I'm not sure I've ever seen such a lavish touring production of any musical. The King and I is breathtaking from start to finish thanks to Michael Yeargan's set design and Catherine Zubar's costume design. Everything about the visual aspect of this musical is just exquisite.
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to refer to Annalene Beechey and Kok-Hwa Lie's performances as flawless. Beechey is both headstrong and heartbreaking as Anna and Lie has struck the perfect balance between fearless leader and slightly insecure man with a mischievous sense of humour. The pair are a dream to watch, particularly during the scene with perhaps the shows most famous number "Shall We Dance".
Taking on a classic is always going to be a challenge but this production of The King and I manages to stay true to its original material yet somehow seem completely fresh. Utterly beautiful and truly captivating, The King and I is a triumph.
The King and I runs at the King's Theatre, Glasgow until 8 February.
Photo credit: Matthew Murphy